Sunday, December 4 was the Liguanea Art Festival and I decided to visit as I had vowed to follow through on my promise to visit more Art shows to embrace my love of the different fields. Fortunately for me also, this was their 12th year in staging the event and it promised to an exciting affair.
The show started at 10am, but sadly I arrived at 3 due to the inclement weather. Much to my surprise, the sun was out shining brightly with a sizeable crowd browsing the different booths, and here I thought that Jamaicans didn’t like being out when the rain was coming. The event itself was pretty laid back, the venue, Liguanea Plaza, was small but very well put together to accommodate its over 100 artists. A small section of Hope Road was even cordoned off to make more space for booths with sponsor Red Stripe being highly visible at the entrance. Visually, it was spectacular; colours as far as the eyes could see, paintings, sculptures, jewellery, all different fields of art were represented and the talent gathered here was truly awe inspiring. Browsing each booth yielded different styles yet the Jamaican culture was prominently displayed; scenes of rivers, mountains, dancing and the ever popular African inspired painting was present. Jewellery was a hit with the crowd as each piece was different, unique in their design and eye catching.
Every 30 minutes or so, an announcer would take over the airwaves to bring something interesting to the crowd. My favourite announcement/performance was that of the group of rasta drummers called Akwaaba which means “Welcome” in the Twi African language, who energised the crowd with their traditional drumming and dancing rituals which were…. interesting. Other performances included Candy from the JCDC and individuals from different schools, International Youth Fellowship and the Japanese Embassy. A silent auction also took place and I unwisely tried my hand at purchasing an art piece, sadly a student budget is unfriendly to all purchases except tuition and occasionally food. Art isn’t cheap!
Overall the event was fun, the exhibits were interesting, the artists happy to discuss their inspirations and creations and the patrons genuinely curious to ask AND buy. I look forward to next year’s staging and hope I may be able to purchase my first art piece or even better have my first exhibit. Who knows? Art is freedom to do whatever you think possible.